The operator of Nashville’s oldest rock club, the Exit/In, is trying to crowdfund money to buy the property after finding out it is under contract to be sold to a developer.
For years, Chris Cobb has worked to establish the reputation of the venue, but some things are out of his control. He doesn’t own the property, and it went up for sale in February.
He put in a bid to buy it, but he thinks the sale didn’t go his way because he’s publicly pushed back against development on the strip of Elliston Place where Exit/In has championed live music since 1971.
Instead, property owners picked the hotel developer AJ Capital.
Now Cobb is pivoting to ask them to sell to him. He launched a new GoFundMe, and fans of the venue are rallying around the cause and contributing money and testimonials towards the $200,000 goal.
“The Exit/In is part of the heart and soul of Nashville,” one donor wrote. Another called the Exit/In their connection to the Nashville music scene, and a safe space for all the “weird kids” in the city.
“At what point does Nashville forfeit the right to call itself ‘Music City’ if we tear down every last piece of music culture in the name of tourism money?” another donor asks.
Publicly, there are no known plans for what would happen to the property. AJ Capital and the current property owner — represented by the real estate firm Southeast Venture — did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
If Cobb’s latest attempt to buy the property fails, he says any money raised will be donated to the National Independent Venue Association and the Music Venue Alliance Nashville.